bountiful tomatos are NOT a problem. Solution #1

Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
At this time of year (in this part of the northern hemisphere), I often hear people complaining about having too many tomatoes turning ripe at the same time in their gardens. I don't even have a garden this year, but everyone's overflow is coming my way. No worries..... I LOVE tomatoes.....more than cameras, even. Last night a made a salad of tomatoes and bell peppers in Italian dressing. Yum, yum. Sometimes, I'll eat them just like an apple. Just bite right into a whole one, add a little salt and pepper and bite again.

But sometimes, you gotta seek out ways of using up more of them in a way that can buy a little time or a way that makes them easier to share with others. This afternoon, I looked at the growing pile and thought "Salsa!" I read a few recipes online about making Salsa. I found a recipe for Salsa Quemada (quemada means burnt apparently..... I should be able to handle that :wink:) here....... http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salsa-Quemada-Roasted-Tomato-Salsa-358769

It felt foreign to me to put tomatoes on a grill (I like them chilled usually..... or room temperature. I DO NOT like hot tomatoes....I know....I'm weird) So 5 smallish to medium sized tomatoes to one jalapeno is the ratio I try tonight. I have no garlic cloves in the house so I will add some bottled stuff later. Also, you can "roast" the veggies indoors in a dry pan over medium heat. Open up the windows.....apparently this a smoky operation. I did it on a gas grill, but these would be REALLY good on a charcoal or wood grill.
View attachment 98243IMGP3946 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

Rotate them to brown them evenly on all sides. The skins will darken and shrink up, but try to keep intact as best you can. And save those skins.....there's lots of flavor in there (and lycopene.......the stuff that makes tomatoes awesome for you)
View attachment 98244IMGP3947 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

After they were getting pretty charred and mushy, I brought them in the house and carefully removed the tomato top core bit and the jalapeno stem (I should have taken out the jalapeno seeds too.....that's where the heat is. I'm fine with it, but my wife may think it's a bit too hot.....we'll see). I like the way it looks a bit like a grisly murder scene.
View attachment 98245IMGP3949 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

Diced up one small yellow onion. Any onion will do, but I like a sweet Vidalia or the simple yellow onion best. Next choice would be a white onion. Red onions do not enter my house.
View attachment 98246IMGP3950 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

I put the roasted toms and pepper in the blender with the diced raw onion. I added some roasted garlic (from a bottle) and about a teaspoon of salt. My blender only has an on/off switch....none of those fancy settings. So I pulsed it a few times....I wanted to keep some chunks, but my finger slipped on the 5th pulse and I really blended it for a few seconds. I caught it before it was total soup. And I could always add some fresh diced tomatoes for texture (there's always more), but it's pretty tasty as it is. Have a taste......
View attachment 98247IMGP3951 by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

for the gear heads, I used a Pentax K-30 with Tamron 17-50 f2.8. The onions were RAW, the files are JPEG.....cooked in camera.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
To make a proper salsa you need a mocahete.

Try this tomato salad recipe:
(From Bottom to Top)
Layer of sliced mozzarella cheese
Layers of sliced tomatoes (I used many different varieties, the more colorful the better.)
Sprinkle beaucoup basil, thyme (sage if you like sage) and some Blue Cheese
Splash some Balsamic
Viola!

Gary

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Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
To make a proper salsa you need a mocahete.

Hey Gary, I'm looking at two of them on Amazon. I like the look of the lava rock one here (looks authentic to me) http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Rock-Mol...UTF8&qid=1409922214&sr=8-3&keywords=molcajete

But I'm wondering if that is a hassle to get truly clean.....seems like there are lots of nooks and crannies for foodstuffs to get caught in. Maybe this one...... http://www.amazon.com/Vasconia-Gran...UTF8&qid=1409922313&sr=8-2&keywords=molcajete

Opinions for or against? What do you and Mary Lou use?
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Luke,

Looks good. I like cold, sliced tomatoes with a little S&P. I love red onion. I love most onions, but spanish yellow or whites can get a little strong. Luckily down here we get a good supply of Valdalias.

On the gear front, shouldn't we be talking about grills and not cameras..teehee.

Jason.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
Hey Gary, I'm looking at two of them on Amazon. I like the look of the lava rock one here (looks authentic to me) http://www.amazon.com/Lava-Rock-Mol...UTF8&qid=1409922214&sr=8-3&keywords=molcajete

But I'm wondering if that is a hassle to get truly clean.....seems like there are lots of nooks and crannies for foodstuffs to get caught in. Maybe this one...... http://www.amazon.com/Vasconia-Gran...UTF8&qid=1409922313&sr=8-2&keywords=molcajete

Opinions for or against? What do you and Mary Lou use?

LOL ... it is sad that one with your taste buds is in Milwaukee. I wouldn't worry about the unevenness, I have both types and both clean up easily enough. The rougher one should be seasoned prior to operation. Toss in a handful of rice and grind it up. It fills in all your nooks and crannies. Shape and volume is more important than finish. For grinding, I prefer the flatter bowl shape over the conical shape just for ease of operation. The smoother one can process wet chilis better than the rough, if you're going for a very fine product. For salsa it doesn't matter. I also make my own chili powder I need the smoother surface to easily grind into a powder.

The mocahete is the original food processor. You can use it for nearly everything that you'd use an electric device ... it just takes longer ... but it doesn't heat up the ingredients.

Personally, I'm looking for one with an animal's head on it. :) http://www.amazon.com/Molcajete-Pig...bs_misc_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=0GV8Z7YKNHPMHAQG5RBA (sorta like this but better)

The thing is so heavy that you really want to keep it on the countertop, as opposed to an upper cabinet where it could crash down on your head or break your countertop, or below, where you'll slip a disc hauling it up. So ... look for something on the soft side like wood, to slide under it to protect the countertop. I use a trivet that just happened to have the same footprint.

You'll also need this: http://www.amazon.com/HIC-Brands-th...qid=1409927425&sr=1-2&keywords=tortilla+press

and then one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Chamba-Cookwa...&ie=UTF8&qid=1409928015&sr=1-7&keywords=comal

Hell, just come live with moi, I have all this stuff and fresh tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, cilantro, avocados all year round. (the avocados are only twice a year).

Gary
 

Biro

Hall of Famer
Location
Jersey Shore
Real Name
Steve
Another fan of cold, sliced tomatoes here. Is there a non-hot sandwich on this planet that can't be made better by the addition of tomato slices? I don't mean those ultra-thin, pale excuses for tomato slices that you get in some delis, restaurants and cafeterias. I mean big, thick, honkin' slices with strength.

Here in New Jersey, where the world-famous Rutgers tomato was developed only a mile from my home, there can never be an excess of tomatoes - or tomatoes that are too big and too juicy.

EDIT: And don't get me started on cold tomato-and-mozzerella-cheese towers. OMG :thumbsup:
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Location
Huntsville, AL
Real Name
Jason
Well, if we are going down that road...

I love cucumbers, tomatoes, a little garlic, thin sliced onion, kalamata olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, parmesan, and lots of fresh basil tossed in a salad.
 

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